It doesn’t seem too much time has passed when we first reviewed the newly introduced 2016 Mazda CX-3, Mazda’s subcompact CUV. In the automotive world, sometimes time moves very fast. At the time when we reviewed the CX-3, there were a handful of these types of vehicles on offer, fast forward to 2018 and pretty much every carmaker is offering a subcompact CUV and we’ve reviewed a few of them.
Like the 2016 CX-3 we previously reviewed, the 2019 version of the CX-3 is offered in three trims, with FWD or AWD layouts on the GX and GS trim, while the GT trim is only offered with AWD. Prices have mostly stayed the same with an increase of $100 – $300, depending on trim, have a look at the chart below for detailed prices.
Add $1,500 to the GS AWD trim for the “Luxury Package” and $3,100 for the “Luxury & i-ACTIVSENSE Packages”.
Our review car was the 2019 Mazda CX-3 GT, with a total price tag of $32,800, which includes $200 for the “Snowflake White Pearl” paint and $1,895 for Freight & PDE.
The engine offered remains the same, which is the direct injection 2.0 liter 4-cylinder SKYACTIV engine, producing 148 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 146 pound-feet of torque at 2,800 rpm. Power is sent to the front or all wheels via a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission, with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters (offered on the GS and GT trims).
According to Mazda, FWD with manual transmission CX-3 should consume 8.8/7.0 L/100 km in city/highway driving, FWD with automatic transmission CX-3 should consume 8.3/6.9 L/100, and AWD equipped vehicles should consume 8.6/7.4 city/highway.
After a week of driving the AWD equipped CX-3 GT, the on-board computer showed 8.9 L/100 km in city driving and 7.5 L/100 km on the highway.
Mazda has also refined the engine to be smoother, with higher low-end torque, more fuel efficient, and increased horsepower by 2 HP, below is a direct quote from Mazda regarding the improved engine.
Mazda CX-3’s SKYACTIV-G 2.0-litre engine has received updates to reduce internal friction, which increases low-end torque, while also reducing real-world fuel consumption and particulate matter formation during combustion. The engine gains a new high-flow intake port shape and the intake throat’s port height is optimized to increase the robustness of the flow. Other new technologies include a new piston shape, a change to the tip shape and increased fuel pressure for the multi-hole injectors, a coolant control valve that increases warming efficiency for the engine, asymmetrical oil rings, and an optimized shape for the piston skirt’s barrel. These changes increase low-end torque by 6.2%, while also reducing real-world fuel consumption and particulate matter formation during combustion. The result is enhanced levels of dynamic performance, fuel economy, and environmental friendliness. The changes also made it possible to use a unified compression ratio of 13.0:1 for the engines shipped to all markets.
Driving the Mazda CX-3 feels like a car, it’s not that much higher than a sedan/hatchback, it basically is a small hatchback with just a bit of higher seating position and of course AWD. By the way, the new 4th generation Mazda3 will be offered with AWD at some point in the near future, so that’s an alternative.
Mazda cars are always on the sporty side, so driving the CX-3 is fun, as fun as these little CUVs can get. The 148 HP is more than enough power for city driving and highway driving isn’t bad either, it has enough passing power at highway speeds and keeps that “zoom zoom” spirit alive on back country roads.
The interior on the 2019 Mazda CX-3 has the same overall layout as the vehicle we reviewed a couple of years ago. There is however a suede trim on the dashboard now, where it used to be leather, giving the interior another layer of texture. I like this added touch a lot, it makes the interior feel a bit more luxurious. The other big change is the removal of the hand brake, in its place is an electronic brake, freeing up a bit more space.
Speaking of space, things have changed a bit for me personally, as I’m a father now. So, using the CX-3 as I would my personal car, the vehicle felt much smaller now (with a car seat and stroller). The trunk is very small and wouldn’t fit the stroller, which is a compact stroller, I had to put it in the back seat (don’t worry, I secured it firmly by putting the seatbelt around it to keep it secure and from hitting my kid in the head). I could have folded one of the rear seats, but I also needed trunk space. The CX-3 is not ideal for families with small children (with strollers and car seats etc), you’ll need to graduate to a CX-5 if you want to carry your stroller in the trunk or even a CX-9 if you have a bigger family.
With modern cars we’ve come to expect quite a few features, especially on the fully loaded top of the line models, and Mazda doesn’t disappoint with the CX-3 GT, below is a list of what you can expect to get with the 2019 Mazda CX-3.
- Advanced Keyless Entry with panic mode
- Push button start system
- Air conditioning with automatic climate control
- Active Driving Display (ADD)
- CD Player (MP3 capable) with Bose premium audio system – 7 speakers
- Two USB and auxiliary inputs
- 7” color touchscreen display with Mazda Connect
- Rear view camera
- Navigation system
- Power windows (with timer and one touch up/down for driver)
- Tilt and telescopic steering wheel
- Illuminated entry
- 12-volt power outlet
- Heated front seats
- 6-way manual driver seat
- 4-way manual front passenger seat
- 60/40 split folding rear seat
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob, and parking brake
- LED headlights with signature lighting
- LED fog lights
- LED rear combination lights
- Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) with automatic headlight leveling
- Auto off headlights
- Auto on/off headlights
- Heated exterior mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators
- Rain sensing intermittent windshield wipers
- Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
- Traction Control System (TCS)
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
- Hill Launch Assist (HLA)
- Blind Spot Monitoring system (BSM)
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
- Smart City Brake Support (SCBS)
- Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS)
- High Beam Control (HBC)
I think the Mazda CX-3 is a very good choice in the, now very crowded, subcompact CUV market. It is fun to drive, fuel efficient, and sporty looking vehicle. The vehicle isn’t big enough for me, but most people shopping for vehicles like this don’t have young children or are using it as a second vehicle.